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December 29 Market Report: Executive Mosaic’s GovCon Index Extends Rally, Big Three Slip on Year-End

December 29 Market Report: Executive Mosaic’s GovCon Index Extend Rally, Big Three Slips on Year-End

Executive Mosaic’s GovCon Index rose 0.17% to $4,668.47 to extend its post-Christmas rally to four days. However, Wall Street’s major indexes lost steam and ended in the red on year-end. Still, it was a blockbuster year for U.S. stocks, as evidenced by robust gains of the Big Three.

Besides the 24% overall return in 2023, the S&P 500 Index recorded its best win streak (nine straight weeks) since 2004. The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average finished with a 13.7% gain and notched a new record during the year. Tech stocks had a phenomenal run, resulting in Nasdaq Composite’s (+43.4%) best year since 2020. 

Enthusiasm over artificial intelligence boosted tech stocks, notably NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA). The chipmaker and social media giant Meta Platforms (Nasdaq: META) gained 236% and 194%, respectively. GovCon Index constituent Palantir Technologies (NYSE: PLTR), also an AI company, rallied 167% in 2023.

Meanwhile, less than half of GovCon stocks closed in positive territory. ICF (Nasdaq: ICFI) and BAE Systems led 14 advancers, while the Carlyle Group (Nasdaq: CG) and Palantir shed more than 2% to lead 16 decliners. 

On year-end 2023, the U.S. Navy awarded HII (NYSE: HII) a $66.7 million cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to a previously awarded contract for the DDG 1000 Modernization Period execution. CACI Enterprise Solutions of CACI (NYSE: CACI) secured a $32.6 million firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract from the U.S. Navy to support Military Sealift Command’s Integrated Business Systems.

Market analysts concede that easing in inflation was the biggest driver for the strong finish of U.S. stocks in 2023. From a peak of 9.06% in June 30, 2022, the inflation rate dropped to 3.14% on Nov. 30, 2023. The aggressive rate hike campaign by the Federal Reserve worked to rein in runaway inflation.

All eyes will be on the central bank in 2024. The policymakers said in December that the tightening cycle is complete and rate cuts (three projected) could start soon as inflation moderates further and move towards the 2% target.

Market Summary

GovCon Index Daily Total 4,668.47 7.97 0.17%
Dow Jones Industrial Average 37,689.54 -20.56 -0.05%
S&P 500 4,769.83 -13.52 -0.28%
NASDAQ 15,011.35 -83.79 -0.56%

Top 5 GovCon Index Daily Percentage Performers

ICFI 134.09 1.97 1.49%
BAESY 57.82 0.80 1.40%
BAH 127.91 0.76 0.60%
GD 259.67 1.53 0.59%
CACI 323.86 1.82 0.57%

Top 5 GovCon Index Daily Net Performers

NOC 468.14 2.46 0.53%
LMT 453.24 2.01 0.45%
ICFI 134.09 1.97 1.49%
CACI 323.86 1.82 0.57%
GD 259.67 1.53 0.59%

Top 5 GovCon Index Daily Percentage Decliners

CG 40.69 -1.01 -2.42%
PLTR 17.17 -0.39 -2.22%
KTOS 20.29 -0.30 -1.46%
AVAV 126.04 -1.13 -0.89%
FLR 39.17 -0.34 -0.86%